How Ann Coulter’s Demonic Theory Explains America’s Political Divide

It is no secret that America has become more politically divided than ever. And that in turn has raised so many questions about why we are so split.

Why do conservatives think the way they do? And why do liberals think the way they do?

A few years ago conservative commentator Ann Coulter thought she had the answer. She put her theory in a book called Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America. The essence of her theory: Democrats and liberals are simply following a mob mentality.

As you listen to this interview, keep in mind this was years before Donald Trump and the MAGA movement.

So here now from 2011 Ann Coulter.

Ann Coulter will be celebrating her birthday this Friday. She’ll be 62.

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Life as Osama bin Laden’s Sister-in-Law Revealed

Married to the mob is one thing. Imagine what it would feel like if you married into a family whose name was linked to terrorism?

Swiss-born Carmen bin Ladin was once Osama bin Laden’s sister-in-law. Her marriage to Osama’s half brother Yeslam broke up several years ago and she had nothing to do with the September 11th attacks.

Her 2004 book Inside the Kingdom isn’t even about her notorious ex-brother-in-law. It reveals what goes on inside the strict Saudi culture that she and her daughters were part of.

Nevertheless, when I spoke with her she was candid about the family, the culture, and Osama.

So here now, from 2004, Carmen bin Ladin.

Carmen bin Ladin is now 69. Her divorce from Yeslam was finalized in 2006.

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From the White House to the Teenage House: Liz Carpenter’s Unplanned Parenthood

Jenkins Garrett with Liz Carpenter in UTA Library’s Special Collections, 1987

Imagine this scenario: you have lived a full life as a war correspondent, an aide to a president, a press secretary to a First Lady, and a leader in important social movements.

And just as you have retired to what should have been a comfortable life you are suddenly thrust into being a parent again.

That is what really happened to Liz Carpenter, once a key figure in the Lyndon Johnson administration in the 1960s.

But when her brother died in 1993, his three unruly teenagers came to live with Liz Carpenter. And she found herself, at age 73, a mother once again.

In her 1994 book Unplanned Parenthood Carpenter describes the unique challenges she faced. But she also had some wise and insightful thoughts about those Generation X people she was raising, and their peers.

So here now, from 1994, Liz Carpenter.

Liz Carpenter died in 2010. She was 89.

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Sister Souljah’s Tale of Urban Life

From her earliest days growing up in New York City and later in New Jersey, Sister Souljah was an activist.

Surrounded by the poverty and despair of an urban neighborhood, Sister Souljah made it her mission to try to change things.

She became a strong voice for change, through writing, film, and music.

In 1999,she wrote her first novel, a book called The Coldest Winter Ever. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 1999. Sister Souljah.

Sister Souljah will be 60 next month.

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Wilma Mankiller: A Cherokee Chief’s Journey and Legacy

Wilma Mankiller’s journey into leadership in the Cherokee nation was not planned. She started as an advocate for rural development within her community, gradually rising through the ranks of Cherokee leadership.

In the 1980s she was the first woman elected to Principal Chief.

Her 1993 autobiography, Mankiller, gave her the opportunity to fill a void of knowledge about ANative American history and culture.

Her story, as she recountss in this interview, was not only one of personal resilience but also a testament to the strength of Native American communities.

So here now, from 1993, Wilman Mankiller.

Wilma Mankiller was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And in 2022 her likeness appeared on the quarter-dollar coin minted by the U.S. Treasury.

Mankiller died from pancreatic cancer in 2010. She was 64.

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Rosalynn Carter

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were married in 1946. Both came from close knit families in which caring for the elderly was a responsibility taken seriously.

Both of the Carters devoted themselves to volunteer activities after leaving the White House. And Rosalynn took up the cause of supporting America’s caregivers, Who devoted their lives to helping the sick or elderly.

In 1994 Mrs. Carter wrote a book called Helping Yourself Help Others. And with both her and her husband in their twilight years, her words in this interview seem particularly poignant.

So here now, from 1994, Rosalynn Carter.

Rosalynn Carter. Is 96 now. Jimmy Carter will be 99 in a couple of weeks.

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Dorothy Height

Photo by Adrian Hood

A decades-long tradition continues this summer, with the 35th annual Black Family Reunion this month.

The event was started in 1989 by Dorothy Height, the longtime president of the National Council of Negro Women. It grew quickly, attracting millions across the country.

And from the reunions grew the Black Family Reunion Cookbook, first published in 1992.

But as you’ll hear in a moment, the cookbook was more than just a collection of recipes. It was an oral history of the African-American family.

So here now, from 1993, Dorothy Height.

Dorothy Height died in 2010. She was 98.

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Cathy Wilkerson

Photo by Thomas Good

The latter half of the 1960s was, to say the least, a turbulent time in America.

Anti war demonstrations were escalating, Civil rights and women’s rights movements were growing. As the government tried to control the chaos,it made many of its critics even more radical.

As the decade drew to a close violence and even bombings became It’s everyday occurrences .

One of those caught up in this maelstrom was the young Cathy Wilkerson. She joined the radical Weather Underground Organization sometimes known simply as Weatherman.

Wilkerson’s father owned a townhouse in New York’s Greenwich Village. She and other Weather underground members turned it into a bomb factory. On March 6, 1970, one of their bombs exploded in the basement, destroying the home and killing three people.

Wilkerson, and fellow Weatherman Kathy Boudin, escaped with their lives, and became fugitives from the FBI.

Wilkerson remained in hiding for a decade, before surrendering in 1980, and serving a few months in prison.

Ultimately she became a high school math teacher.

In 2007 she finally wrote her memoir, a book called Flying Close to The Sun. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 2007, Cathy Wilkerson.

Cathy Wilkerson is 78 now. She lives in New York.

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Paul Robeson Jr

Paul Robeson Jr was the grandson of a slave, and son of a prominent and controversial African American actor, singer, and activist.

Formally trained as an electrical engineer, Robeson soon followed in the footsteps of his famous father, becoming an activist in his own right.

He also spent time organizing and archiving his father’s papers, films, and music memorabilia.

I first met and interviewed Paul Robeson Jr. In 1993. We met again in 2007, when he wrote a book called A Black Way of Seeing.

And keep your mind open as you hear this interview, Robeson will challenge you to think differently about everything, regardless of your background.

So here now, from 2007, Paul Robeson Jr.

Paul Robeson Jr. died in 2014. He was 86.

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Phyllis Schlafly

She was a middle-aged housewife from Alton, Illinois. But in the 1970s, Phyllis Schlafly launched an anti-feminist crusade that would make her a household name — lauded by many, revered by some, but hated and smeared by many others.

Schlafly positioned herself as the defender of traditional motherhood, becoming virulently anti-feminist, and the leading opponent of the then still-pending Equal Rights Amendment.

As the founder of the group Eagle Forum, Schlafly also had huge influence on the direction of the conservative movement in America.

She even had a syndicated column, and in 2003 she published a collection of those columns, a book she called Feminist Fantasies.

So this is one of the several times that I interviewed her over the years. So here now, from 2003, Phyllis Schlafly.

Phyllis schlafly died in 2016. She was 92.

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